Masters in Accounting (MSc)


Delivered at Queen’s Campus Stockton, the MSc Accounting programme is designed to help prepare you to compete in an increasingly international job market.

Launched in 2015, our innovative MSc Accounting programme sits within Durham’s portfolio of Masters programmes. A one year full-time programme, it provides an opportunity for you to develop an in-depth understanding of the theory and practice of accounting as well as the critical thinking skills so valued by employers. The MSc in Accounting covers key accounting topics including financial statements and their preparation, the practical limitations of financial reporting, and the regulatory framework and its complexities.

This is an ideal programme to choose if you’re looking to pursue a career in accountancy, finance and business.

ACCA Academic Professional Partnership Programme

A key feature of the programme is the ACCA AcademicProfessional Partnership Programme (APPP) from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). Eligible students, alongside studying for their Masters degree, have the option to register with the ACCA for the APPP. This pathway provides a recognised level of tuition towards two separate Professional Level papers, P1 and P2 of the ACCA qualification. For more information on the ACCA qualification visit

Please note: Students who have successfully passed ACCA’s Fundamental level exams, F1-F9, or have exemptions from the Fundamental level (in addition to meeting Durham University’s normal entry requirements for Postgraduate programmes) are eligible to apply for this pathway

To achieve your qualification you will need to successfully complete eight core modules, and a dissertation or business project. Should you choose to study towards the ACCA Academic Professional Partnership Programme you will also be required to sit two Professional Level papers, P1 and P2 of the ACCA qualification.

Core and elective modules

You will study:

  1. Accounting Theory
  2. Auditing and Assurance Services
  3. Contemporary Issues in Accounting and Taxation
  4. Corporate Governance
  5. Corporate Reporting
  6. Financial Planning and Control
  7. Financial Statement Analysis
  8. Research Methods & Methodology in Accounting

Dissertation/Business Project

In the third term you will complete a 12,000 word dissertation which could be a specific project with an organisation. Supervised by a faculty member with relevant experience, you’ll investigate in greater detail a subject that you’ve already studied as part of your programme.

This is an opportunity for you to develop your business insight and present your analysis and ideas in a scholarly and professional manner; combine critical discrimination and a sense of proportion in evaluating evidence and the opinions of others.

Adding to your experience

As part of your programme, you have the opportunity to enjoy presentations by academics and practitioners within your chosen area of interest. Past speakers have included representatives of major global multinationals and leading academics, providing an ideal opportunity to gain practical knowledge and progressive insight.

Subject requirements, level and grade

Application Deadlines

Please note: The application process opens on 1 October for entry the following academic year.

There is high demand for places on these programmes – typically we receive around 10 applications for each place the University is able to offer. To maximise your chances of being offered one of these places, we recommend that you submit your application to the University as early as possible.

In order to manage the volume of international applications received by the University to allow the University to ensure each application is properly reviewed, considered and processed, applications from candidates must be received as follows:

  • Applications from individuals resident in Mainland China must be received by 31 January;
  • Applications from any other individuals who would be required to hold a visa in order to study in the UK, must be received by 31 May.
  • Applications from those individuals who fall outside of either category specified above, must be received by 31 August.

Should you miss the deadlines specified above, then it may be possible for the University to add your application to a waiting list, which may be consulted in the event that following review and processing of all applications received prior to the deadlines, vacant places remain available on the programme.

The University is under no obligation to make any offer of a place on the programme to any applicant, nor is the University obligated to fill all spaces available on the programme.

Consideration of any application received by the University after expiry of the deadlines specified herein, shall be made at the sole discretion of the University.

The MSc Accounting is designed for new or recent graduates in any subject or discipline.

What do I need first?

The equivalent of a UK first or upper second class honours degree. Check the full list of equivalent qualifications

If you are an international student who does not meet the requirements for direct entry to this degree, you may be eligible to take a pre-Masters pathway programme at the Durham University International Study Centre.

NB Chinese Applicants: Applications will be accepted from students who have graduated from a prestigious university in China. Entry requirements may vary depending upon the reputation of the university you have graduated from and the academic programme you have applied for. As a guide, applicants are expected to have achieved an overall average of 85%.

ACCA Pathway

Additionally, for students considering the ACCA pathway you will be asked to provide evidence of your eligibility to study. You will need to have passed ACCA’s Fundamental level exams, F1-F9, or have exemptions from the Fundamental level.

Full Time Fees

EU Student £14,500.00 per year
Home Student £14,500.00 per year
Island Student £14,500.00 per year
International non-EU Student £23,000.00 per year

Key to your career

Whatever your specialist interests, you’ll find our careers team is one of the most useful resources to support you on your way to your target career. Now more than ever, it’s the skills you’re able to demonstrate in addition to your academic abilities that will make you shine in a fiercely competitive jobs market.

That’s why our facilities and services are designed to complement your course and help you develop essential professional and practical skills – from personal resilience and self-awareness to CV writing and interview techniques.

We work in partnership with the University’s Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre to connect you with events, organisations or individuals to help kick-start your career.

One-to-one career support

As a Business School Masters student, you can take advantage of one-to-one appointments with a specialist Masters Career Consultant to help you with specific issues, from finding a route into your career to applying for your dream role.

Career development programme

Our Career Development Programme has been designed alongside our core academic programme to help you achieve your career goals and develop the skills that employers are looking for.

This starts at the beginning of Term One with our Careers Weekend. This weekend will provide insight and enable the development of essential career management skills. Covering a wide range of topics, the event will support career planning, facilitate skills development and enhance your knowledge of the full recruitment cycle. The weekend will be actively focused on identifying, preparing and securing employment opportunities throughout your studies.

Sector specific presentations

Our Career Insights sessions are delivered by external professionals with expertise and knowledge of their particular sector which provide insights into working in areas that are popular with our students.

Previous guest speakers have delivered presentations on working in banking, professional services, and management development programmes within international companies.

Business Projects and Placements

The business project or placement is a great way to gain practical work experience and develop consultancy skills. We can help you choose from a range of regional, national and international organisations of different sizes in different sectors or you can source your own project – some target an organisation they’d like to work for. However you tailor the project, it will help you to put new knowledge and skills into practice and influence real life business issues.

International opportunities

We’re proud of our strong international connections. Helping you get an inside perspective on global business is a key part of the programme. That’s why you’ll have the opportunity to go on the optional International Study Tour to a European destination in March/April. This self-funded, one-week programme is a great way to immerse yourself in the country’s business environment, providing the chance to make new contacts and helping you stand out in the competitive jobs market.

If you are interested in carrying out research or a business project in an international location for your dissertation, we may also be able to connect you with our international partner institutions.

Support for International Students

We recognise that many of our students will progress their careers outside of the UK once they finish their studies, and our career development programme is designed with this in mind. We offer events focused on career opportunities in China and are continually developing relationships with international recruiters.

If you’re an international student interested in working in the UK after your studies, the careers team works closely with Durham University’s Student Immigration & Financial Support Office to provide you with information related to immigration. Their advisers are dedicated to helping our students understand the requirements and restrictions of their visas during their studies and can provide limited advice on post-study visa requirements.

You can access English language support from English Language Centre.

Please note

The module content below applies to the academic year 2015-16 and may be subject to change for 2016-17 entry.

Contemporary Marketing Communication

  • Studying contemporary marketing communications to indicate the broad scope of study in this complex and evolving area
  • Persuasive communication: Hierarchy effects, consumer affect
  • Communication research techniques
  • Legal knowledge and the changing communication environment
  • Trouble-shooting and ‘crisis’ planning
  • Digital marketing analytics and intelligence
  • Review of consumer behaviour and consumption studies
  • Trends in digital and interactive marketing communications and integration of social media content

Consumers and Consumption

Content will include, but is not limited to, subjects such as:

  • Consumer Society
  • Organisational Buyers
  • Consumer Culture Theory
  • Consumption Experience
  • Consumer Choice
  • Cultural and Brand Meaning
  • Brand Communities and Subcultures
  • Reference Groups
  • The Self, Identity and Symbolic Consumption
  • Consumer Motivation and Desire
  • Involvement
  • Attitudes
  • Learning and Memory
  • Retail Psychology/Situational and Environmental Issues
  • Consumer Misbehaviour
  • Impulse Buying

Marketing Management and Strategy

  • The Marketing Concept
  • The Marketing and Strategy Environment
  • Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning
  • The 4 Ps (product, promotion, place and price)
  • Marketing Strategy- Introduction and Context
  • Developing a marketing strategy

Marketing Theory

  • The Development of Marketing Theory and Thought: Multiple Paradigmatic Perspectives
  • Paradigms and Marketing Theory (logical empiricism, interpretive research (CCT), critical theory, postmodernism, feminism and postcolonialism)
  • Marketing as Exchange, Transactions, Relationships, or Seduction?
  • Conceptualising the Consumer: As King? As Sucker? As Guinea Pig? As Amateur? As Postmodern Chameleon? As Misbehaving?
  • Market Research Practices
  • Co-Creation and the Mobilisation and Manipulation of Consumer Practice
  • Service Provision, Emotional Labour, Sexualised Labour and Abject Labour
  • Power and Vulnerability in the Marketplace
  • Marketing in Non-Western Contexts
  • The Darksides of Marketing
  • Final Reflections on Postmodernism and Marketing
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