MA Business Studies and Accounting
If people are the key to business success, then numbers come a very close second. Numbers can tell us many things, from purely practical issues of profit and loss to more subtle, strategic information such as why businesses succeed, when they should expand or where they can make much needed efficiencies. Accounting should therefore be viewed less as naked statistics and more as vital business information.
This philosophy lies at the heart of the honours degree in Accounting from the University of Edinburgh Business School. Students benefit from a broad-based degree with the flexibility to change direction and specialise through option choices. Teaching staff are prominent researchers in the discipline, with courses drawing on both established accounting principles and the latest research literature.
Many students will use the MA as a significant first step on the path to full Chartered Accountant status. This programme gives students a high level of exemption (usually the maximum) of exemption from the professional examination requirements.
You will develop your skills through a series of core courses and your own choice of optional courses. The knowledge you gain will not only be theoretical but highly practical, providing you with a skill set that will allow you to get to grips with the very real issues in the modern business world.
Accounting is taught over four years: Accountancy 1A and Accountancy 1B in the first year; Accountancy 2A and Accountancy 2B in the second year; Advanced Financial Accounting, Auditing, and Management Accounting Applications in the third year. All of these are compulsory courses. Please note that these core modules relate only to the Accounting part of the degree. Details of the core modules of the Business part of the degree can be found on the MA Business Studies page.
Two courses are available in the first year: Accountancy 1A and Accountancy 1B. These courses typically consist of three one-hour lectures, and a one-hour tutorial per week. One of the weekly lectures may be used as a workshop at which several members of staff are present to help students through an accounting problem. The course topics are chosen so that, overall, a self-contained and integrated course is presented. Tutorials will normally include a practical exercise and/or a discussion of topical accounting issues.
The second year consists of two semester length courses (Accountancy 2A and Accountancy 2B) which will normally be taken consecutively. Accountancy 2A deals with some of the more complex aspects of financial accounting, specifically the regulatory framework of corporate reporting and the preparation of published financial statements. This course also includes an introduction to taxation. Accountancy 2B deals with more advanced management accounting, specifically advanced costing systems, budgeting and standard costing, and current practice in management accounting. This course also includes a module on intermediate level taxation.
Honours year three
The first honours year takes a deeper look at some of the key accounting disciplines. The courses comprise:
Advanced Financial Accounting:
- Alternatives to historic cost accounting
- Advanced interpretations and analysis
- Issues in financial reporting
- Auditing as an investigative process
- Auditing as communication
- Auditing as a professional and societal activity
Management Accounting Applications:
- Organisational segmentation
- Management control
- Management accounting in the public sector
Honours year four
At this point, students increase their level of specialisation by choosing from a range of honours options. The availability of honours options varies from year to year but will include many of the following:
- Accounting and Everyday Life
- Advanced Management Accounting
- Audit Practice
- Comparative International Accounting
- Financial Statement Analysis
- Issues in Accounting and Auditing Regulation
- Public Sector Accounting
- Theoretical and Practical Issues in Financial Accounting