Accounting and Society (MSc, Online)

A fully on-line, part-time, flexible programme which focuses on the wider, non-technical, aspects of accounting which have a broader impact on organisations and society.

The programme content and method of delivery will prove attractive to both professional accountants, and other non-professional accountant applicants, who are unable to commit to a full-time on-campus programme.

Professionally qualified accountants will gain exemption from year one of this three year distance learning programme.

This MSc looks at how accounting, the accounting profession and various calculative practices impact on the management and governance of organisations, cultural formations, and the definition of economic and social relationships.

Through the School’s Centre for Accounting and Society (CAS) an established research tradition in the area of interdisciplinary studies of accounting has been established and this programme draws upon this tradition, and on exceptionally strong relationships with professional and accounting bodies.

This new MSc will focus on the three strands: Accounting, Culture and Society, The Accounting Profession, and Communication, Governance and Control.

Course resources and learning materials for students to achieve the learning outcomes of the programme will be delivered to participants by the following means:

  • Weekly study plan to include topic overview, learning objectives, required reading and listening, self-assessment material and assignments to be completed
  • Recorded lectures and tutorials available to course participants on the Blackboard Learn Virtual learning Environment (VLE).
  • Real-time virtual classes through the VLE
  • Online Discussion Forums via the VLE
  • Access to online electronic resources of the University of Edinburgh Library:
  • University of Edinburgh Business School Seminar Series recorded for delivery via the VLE
  • Selected electronic textbook resources

This is a three year fully online programme which is assessed by a mix of online assignments together with case studies and essays.

Professionally qualified accountants are exempt from year one which consists of three technical accounting courses as a foundation for years two and three.

Five courses in each of the years two and three are then taken in the specific area of Accounting and Society and a final project is completed in the final semester of year three.

The programme is intended to further knowledge and skills in a number of ways:

  • Develop a high level of competence in using various online tools and resources together with enhanced independent learning and time-management skills.
  • Ability to analyse and assess ethical, political, cultural, governance and social responsibility issues and their impact on organisations and society overall.
  • Analysis of existing practice in organisations in the areas of Accounting and Society with a view to recommending change.
  • Further develop cross-cultural and inter-personal communication skills sensitive to diversity in people and cultures through sharing knowledge.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the fundamental principles and concepts of Accounting and Auditing together with ability to apply tools and techniques in these areas. (For students not already holding a professional accounting qualification and required to take Year One of the programme).

This online distance learning MSc programme enables you to study part-time for an internationally recognised degree, wherever you are in the world, while maintaining busy professional and personal commitments.

The programme is aimed at both professional accountants and other non-professionally qualified applicants from diverse backgrounds who may already have careers in practice and industry but who wish to gain an additional MSc qualification to advance their existing career opportunities and to study accounting in the broader context which includes the organisational, social, historical, cultural and technical aspects.

The three technical accounting courses in year one of the programme may also serve as a basis for the professional exams of a number of accounting bodies, should students wish to take those exams in the future, and it is possible that exemptions may be negotiated by students on an individual basis.

Our programme is promoted as a professional and personal development opportunity by the Chartered Accountants Worldwide whose members include the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland (ICAS), The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) among others.

  • A UK 2:1 honours degree or its international equivalent or an appropriate and acceptable professional qualification to level 10 or above on the SCQF framework or equivalent.

For applicants entering at year two of the programme:

  • A professional Accounting qualification equivalent to level 11 on the SCQF framework (or equivalent framework) and holding current membership of an internationally recognised professional accounting organisation which is associated with IFAC (International Federation of Accountants)

We may also consider your application if you hold a professional accounting qualification, but do not hold current membership of an internationally recognised professional accounting organisation, if you can demonstrate up to date continuous professional development (CPD) requirements of a recognised professional accounting organisation.

We may also consider your application if you do not hold a professional accounting qualification but do hold a relevant professional qualification equivalent to level 11 on the SCQF framework or equivalent.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

All applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:

  • an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration
  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 20 in each module)
  • PTE(A): total 67 (at least 56 in each of the “Communicative Skills” sections)
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module)
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than two and a half years old at the beginning of your degree programme. Language tests must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.

Find out more about our language requirements:

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