MSc Professional Accounting (with ACCA tuition)

MSc Professional Accounting (with ACCA tuition)


Our innovative MSc Professional Accounting (with ACCA tuition) combines advanced academic study with a professional accounting qualification. This accounting masters is aimed at students who have completed the Fundamentals Level papers of the ACCA Professional Qualification (applied knowledge and skills papers), or those who are exempted from these ACCA papers by virtue of studying an accounting degree, recognised and accredited by ACCA.

Taught by award-winning tutors from our Platinum-accredited ACCA programme, modules are aligned with the final Strategic Professional Level of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Qualification. 

Students are prepared to sit the four ACCA Strategic Professional external exams shortly after the completion of internal Masters assessments. USW’s accounting course, therefore, offers a study regime that is highly efficient in terms of both cost and time, with professional and academic Masters study occurring concurrently. On the full-time course students can obtain a Masters qualification and sit all ACCA exams in one year.

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Entry Requirements

An undergraduate finance, accounting or audit degree from a UK university, class 2:2 Honours or higher;

OR an undergraduate business degree from a UK university with an appropriate level of financial content, class 2:2 Honours or higher;

OR equivalent accredited international or professional qualifications (such as direct passes in ACCA Fundamentals Level papers applied knowledge and skills).

Note that as a minimum students joining this course must (a) either be exempt from ACCA Fundamentals Level papers applied knowledge and skills by virtue of their undergraduate degrees or (b) must have passed these papers directly, and hence be ready to commence ACCA study at Strategic Professional Level.

Students wishing to join the course must have applied for student membership with ACCA before the start date and obtained confirmation of their exemptions. Details are available on the ACCA website (http://www.accaglobal.com)

The course welcomes international applicants and requires an English level of IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component or equivalent.

Please note that whilst this course does not require a DBS Check for entry, some professions will not consider candidates who have certain types of criminal convictions. Therefore, if you have a criminal conviction and you are considering a particular career path we would recommend that you check with the relevant professional body or refer to their recruitment policy to make sure that your conviction will not disadvantage you.


The MSc Professional Accounting (with ACCA tuition) course provides the ‘best of both worlds’ – a rigorous Masters level education from both academic and professional perspectives. It provides the advanced work-based skills of a professional course and the advanced critical evaluation of subject areas and research literature of an academic Masters course.

The modules you will study are as follows (note that their names mirror the names of the ACCA external papers):

Strategic Business Reporting (40 credits)

This module aims to develop knowledge, understanding and application of contemporary corporate reporting principles, standards, practices and toolkits in a range of business contexts and situations, which will require advanced evaluation and synthesis skills. The module will also foster critical questioning of the development and content of such areas, including a focus on current and future reporting issues. Students will be prepared for internal masters assessments (assignment & exam) plus an external ACCA examination.

Summary of syllabus areas:

  • Fundamental ethical and professional principles
  • The financial reporting framework
  • Reporting the financial performance of a range of entities
  • Financial statements of groups of entities
  • Interpretation of financial statements for different stakeholders
  • The impact of changes and potential changes in accounting regulation

Advanced Financial Management (40 credits)

This module aims to develop students’ knowledge, understanding, application and critical evaluation of contemporary financial management and corporate finance principles in a range of business contexts. Further, it aims to develop students’ abilities to critically evaluate existing practice and current developments. It will require advanced evaluation and synthesis skills and will foster critical questioning. Students will be prepared for internal masters assessments (assignment & exam) plus an external ACCA examination.

Summary of syllabus areas:

  • Role of a senior financial adviser in a multinational organisation
  • Advanced investment appraisal
  • Acquisitions and mergers
  • Corporate reconstruction and reorganisation
  • Treasury and advanced risk management techniques

Advanced Performance Management (40 credits)

This module aims to develop students’ knowledge, understanding, application and critical evaluation of contemporary performance management principles in a range of business contexts. Further, it aims to develop students’ abilities to critically evaluate existing practice and current developments. It will require advanced evaluation and synthesis skills and will foster critical questioning. Students will be prepared for internal masters assessments (group assignment & exam) plus an external ACCA examination.

Summary of syllabus areas:

  • Strategic planning and control
  • Impact of risk and uncertainty on organisational performance
  • Performance measurement systems and design
  • Strategic performance measurement
  • Performance evaluation and corporate failure

Strategic Business Leader (40 credits)

This module aims to prepare students to:

  • critically evaluate the theory and practice of business strategy, corporate governance, risk and ethics;
  • evaluate and synthesize information in realistic case study scenarios; and
  • make and present professionally effective leadership decisions by applying the appropriate blend of technical, ethical and professional skills.

Students will be prepared for an internal masters assessment in these areas (exam) plus the external ACCA Strategic Business Leader case study examination.

Summary of syllabus areas:

  • Leadership & ethics
  • Governance and agency systems
  • Technology and data analytics
  • Evaluation of risk profile, internal control and audit systems
  • Evaluation (including financial) of strategic position, options and actions
  • Application of solution strategies
  • Innovation, performance excellence and change management

Business Research Project (20 credits)

The module aims to prepare students to undertake an individual Business Research Project that can be of real practical relevance to organisations. It includes tuition sessions on Research Methodology.



Ethics and Professional Skills module

ACCA recommends that students complete their Ethics and Professional Skills module before attempting any Strategic Professional level exams.

The module introduces students to advanced ethical and professional skills and they are exposed to realistic business situations via an interactive environment. The module supplements a student’s technical knowledge by helping them develop the ethical and professional behaviours that they will need to successfully complete the Strategic Professional exams.

Please note the module is charged at a one-off fee which is payable to ACCA. See more information on the ACCA website

Practical Experience Requirements

In addition to completing their exams and the Ethics & Professional Skills module, all ACCA students are required to complete the PER (Practical Experience Requirement) before they can become a full ACCA member. The PER is where students demonstrate relevant skills and experience within a real work environment.

Completion of PER involves:
• achieving 36 months of supervised experience in a relevant accounting or finance role(s)
• completing nine performance objectives
• recording progress online in MyExperience
• having the experience signed off by a practical experience supervisor

Students are responsible for arranging their own PER usually via their normal place of work.

Please note that it is the responsibility of students to enter external ACCA exams (see the ACCA website for further details).


Teaching methods ensure that students are prepared for both the ACCA Strategic Professional Level externally set exams and for internal Masters assessments (assignments and examinations) in an integrated fashion.

The Strategic Business Reporting, Advanced Financial Management and Advanced Performance Management modules each attract 80 teaching hours, and these are typically split as follows:

  • 60 hours of preparation for external ACCA examination and internal MSc equivalent examination (development of advanced technical competencies; application to complex practical scenarios; development of professional skills)

  • 20 hours of critical academic evaluation of the subject area.

The Strategic Business Leader module is taught for 90 hours. The Business Research Project includes classroom-based Research Methodology sessions plus one-to-one supervisor support when students reach the project phase. All modules are taught in a workshop environment that includes lecture, seminar/tutorial, simulation, individual research and group work elements.


ACCA exams require students to focus on the complex practical scenarios that a professional accountant will face and the advanced technical competencies they will require to tackle these. Internal MSc exam-based assessments replicate the structure and style of the external ACCA exams.

They are typically sat two weeks before the external ACCA exam and thus act as mock exams on which feedback is quickly given, as well as accruing MSc credits in their own right. Internal MSc written and oral assignments have a different emphasis, focussing on the critical evaluation appropriate for an academic Masters qualification.

Please note that it is the responsibility of students to enter external ACCA exams (see the ACCA website for further details).


We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement

At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.

If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.

Additional Costs

As a student of USW, you’ll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing, or equipment.


USW’s ACCA qualification, subject to ACCA’s practical experience requirements, enables you to become a Chartered Certified Accountant, use the designatory letters ACCA after your name and to typically work across a range of finance or management roles in any business.

Our Careers and Employability Service
As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.

This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the “Ask a Question” service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.

Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.


Full time

Complete your degree in the shortest possible time and study flexibly – when and where suits you!


You’ll study 9 modules in total (approx. 37 hrs/week).

Part time option one

Study for a degree whilst fitting it around your work, care and other life commitments.


You’ll study 6 modules per year (approx. 25 hrs/week).

Part time option two

Take time to study and spread the tuition fees over a longer period – at no extra cost.


You’ll study 4–5 modules per year (approx. 19 hrs/week).

Have a question about our professional qualifications?

Contact us about our professional qualifications

If you have any questions about our professional qualifications in finance and banking, please contact our customer services team.

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