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Postgraduate course

Professional Accounting MSc

Gain a Masters degree while preparing for the final 4 Strategic Professional examination papers of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).

This course covers strategic financial issues that are important for accountants. You will gain an understanding of key issues and applied methodologies relating to management accounting, financial accounting and corporate finance. Alongside your Masters qualification, you will be prepared to sit the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) final four Strategic Professional examination papers.

York campus

  • Duration – 18 months full time
  • Start date – September 2021
  • School – York Business School

Minimum Entry Requirements

    2:2 Undergraduate degree from a UK or NARIC listed institution

    ACCA applied knowledge and skills papers

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2020-21 £12,000 full time

    International 2020-21 £18,000 full time

Course overview

Our postgraduate Professional Accounting degree combines the study of contemporary academic theory and research with gaining a practical understanding of accounting. With us, you will learn to operate in the global marketplace, readying you to pursue a career in accounting, or enhance your knowledge of accounting standards and procedures. 

On the course you will cover strategic financial issues which are essential for accounts and learn about the applied methodologies of management accounting, financial accounting and corporate finance. You will develop an understanding of the theory and practice of accounting while enhancing the critical thinking which are admired by employers. We will introduce you to the latest contemporary research in accounting and encourage you to apply the knowledge gained to your accounting practice. 

When you join the York Business School, you become part of an active learning community. Work with your tutors and peers as you explore, discuss and analyse solutions to problems in business finance. 

This course:

  • Prepares you for the final 4 Strategic Professional examination papers of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
  • Enables you to develop a sound understanding of the skills necessary to undertake a professional accounting role in any organisation
  • Focuses on encouraging responsible and ethical leaders in business
  • Places emphasis on both theoretical rigour and practical experience
  • Uses assessment methods that mirror organisational based activities.

Throughout the course you will receive excellent personal and academic support from your tutors and wider university services. 

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.

The academic year is split into 4 terms for study on this course. 

If you choose to study full time the course will take 18 months to complete. You will:

  • Take 3 compulsory modules in term 1
  • Take 2 compulsory modules in term 2
  • Take 1 compulsory module in term 3 
  • Take 1 compulsory module in term 4 
  • Your professional accounting dissertation module will be taken over terms 2, 3 and 4. 

If you choose to study part time, these modules will be split over 3 years. 

All modules are currently subject to change. 


Credits: 15

Compulsory module

This module will develop your management accounting skills to enable you to use them at a strategic level in various business contexts. You will be able to evaluate the performance of various types of business organisation at a strategic level and identify the key influences on organisational performance.

Credits: 15

Compulsory module

The study of business in contemporary society requires an understanding of many topics. We will introduce a range of pervasive and contemporary issues in the study of business. This module is your chance to identify the research expectations of postgraduate study. You will develop a critical awareness of the research process. We will also support you to discover your specialism.

Credits: 15

Compulsory module

Develop an understanding of the theoretical and practical issues relating to sustainable business. You will consider these issues in the context of environmental, social and economic needs. Explore how these may differ at national and global levels. To do this, you will review the relationships between business and society in an uncertain world.

Credits: 15

Compulsory module

This module develops the skills required of a senior finance executive for the successful financial management of an organisation. These include the role of a senior financial advisor in a multinational organisation, understanding risk and investment appraisal, treasury functions and managing risk.

Credits: 30

Compulsory module

This module aims to develop an interest, knowledge and appreciation of current global economic and business issues as well as the challenges that they pose for management. Building on knowledge from previous modules, you will engage with current world events and consider how they impact upon both the internal and external environments of businesses. This will enable you to reach a well-grounded understanding of both theory and practice in business and relate it to the topical events in the world, at a global, national and regional level.

Credits: 30

Compulsory module

This module will develop corporate reporting from the viewpoint of the preparers and the perspective of a variety of external stakeholders, including providers of finance. There will be a focus on the assessment and evaluation of recognition, measurement and presentation decisions made by a corporate entity’s management for a range of reporting issues, coupled with their implications for a range of stakeholders and external entities.

Credits: 30

Compulsory module

This module will develop organisational leadership and senior consultancy or advisory capabilities and relevant professional skills. There will be a focus on leadership, professionalism, ethics and corporate governance. This will be developed alongside an ability to evaluate strategic options applying knowledge and skills developed earlier in the student’s accountancy studies.

The module will also develop professional skills such as communication, commercial acumen, analysis, scepticism and evaluation.

Credits: 45

Compulsory module

The research investigation module is the final part of the award. This module provides further input about research methodology and an opportunity to research in depth, through supported individual study, and tutor led workshops, an area of accountancy and/ or finance. It is intended that this module will enable the student to extend their studies in an area or areas of the course previously completed, or into a new area of study, through negotiating a research topic with the allocated supervisor.

Teaching and assessment

This postgraduate course in Professional Accounting is delivered by both lectures and seminars.  

Each module has a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) where you and other Masters level students will be encouraged engage in debates and collaborative approaches to learning. Support with study skills will be available to you throughout your studies.


All modules are assessed through a course of work undertaken whilst studying for the award. A range of assessment tools are used including: 

  • presentations
  • critical essays
  • reflective journals
  • case study work.

Each module tutor will provide opportunities for formative assessment feedback to inform your work prior to submission. You will receive detailed feedback on assessment to help you develop and continuously improve your performance whilst on the course.

Entry requirements


Minimum Entry Requirements

    2:2 Undergraduate degree from a UK or NARIC listed institution

    ACCA applied knowledge and skills papers


Entry onto this postgraduate course requires a minimum of a 2:2 undergraduate honours degree in a related discipline from a UK or NARIC listed institution.

If your undergraduate honours degree is not in a related discipline but you can demonstrate extensive professional experience in the subject, your application may be considered.

International Students

If you're an international student, you'll need to demonstrate experience, or qualifications equivalent to those above.

If your first language is not English you must show evidence of English Language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (with no skill below 5.5) or equivalent.


Entry onto this postgraduate course will require you to demonstrate current or recent work experience. This will enable you to fully engage with the course.

Additional Requirements 

Entry onto this course requires you to have completed the ACCA applied knowledge and applied skills papers. You must also have achieved a Pass in the Ethics and Professional Skills module. 

APEL policy

If you can't meet these minimum requirements it may be possible to take into account evidence of Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) as an alternative method of meeting the programme’s entry requirements. In such a case, appropriate references and records of employment might be presented to support the applicant’s case for admission.

Fees and funding

UK & EU 2020 - 21

The tuition fee for 2020 entry to this postgraduate course is £12,000 for full-time UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

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

International (non-EU) 2020 - 21

The tuition fee for 2020 entry to this postgraduate course is £18,000 for international students.

Due to immigration laws, international students on a Student Visa must be studying full-time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

More information about funding your studies is available on our International Fees and Funding page.

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2020-21 £12,000 full time

    International 2020-21 £18,000 full time

Alumni Scholarships

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

Scholarships for Alumni

Additional costs and financial support


Whilst 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.


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

Career outcomes

Choosing a Postgraduate degree in Professional Accounting can help you achieve your career ambitions. You will gain the skills, knowledge and behaviours that employers covet.

With these skills, you could pursue a number of careers. This degree can prepare you for a career as a:

  • Chartered accountant 
  • Chartered certified accountant 
  • Chartered management accountant 
  • Chartered public finance accountant 
  • Company secretary 
  • External auditor 
  • Forensic accountant 
  • Stockbroker

The course could also lead you to undertake further postgraduate study such as an MPhil or PhD.

Whatever your ambitions, we can help you get there.
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 doesn't end when you graduate. You can access our expert career advice for the rest of your life. We will help you gain experience and confidence to succeed. It's your career, your way.

Apply for this course

You can apply directly to the course via our Apply Now links. You will need to create a login and password and complete the online form. Please contact two referees in advance of submitting your application as an automated request will go out as soon as you submit, and your application will not be reviewed until both references are in place. 

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