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Accounting and Finance (MSc)

  • Duration: 1 year
  • Mode: Full time

Start date

Open day

Find out more about studying here as a postgraduate at our next Open Day.

Why study this course

Shape innovation in all areas of business while appreciating the significance of accounting and finance for creating a more responsible and sustainable society.


Research-led teaching

Put theory into practice on a programme led by academic researchers and qualified accounting professionals.


Skills for career success

Acquire tools and techniques to respond to a financial sector characterised by crises, regulation, globalisation and innovation.


Progress to PhD

Prepare for doctoral study or research-oriented careers with independent research under academic supervision.


Socially responsible

As the world's first Public Value Business School, we're committed to delivering social improvement alongside economic development.

The MSc Accounting and Finance programme will provide you with the opportunity to undertake an in-depth analysis of contemporary issues in accounting and finance. This will enable you to shape innovation in all areas of business activity while appreciating the significance of accounting and finance for creating a more responsible and sustainable society.

The programme recognises that you will work in an internationally interconnected diverse and ever-changing environment. We will enable you to succeed in this environment by exposing you to current thinking and real-world experiences. We will also keep you grounded in modern ethical and wider-societal issues to allow you to become an inspired professional.


“The lecturers and tutors are very patient and communicative. They’re always ready to chat with you and share their opinion, which is extremely supportive for international students who might be facing cultural barriers.”
Fangyuan Chen MSc Accounting and Finance

Where you'll study

Cardiff Business School

We’re an AACSB International and AMBA-accredited Business School with a clear mission: to make a positive impact in the communities of Wales and the world.

  • icon-chatGet in touch
  • Telephone+44 (0)29 2087 4674
  • MarkerColum Road, Cathays, Cardiff, CF10 3EU

Admissions criteria

In order to be considered for an offer for this programme you will need to meet all of the entry requirements. Your application will not be progressed if the information and evidence listed is not provided.

With your online application you will need to provide:

1. A copy of your degree certificate and transcripts which show you have achieved a 2:1 honours degree in accounting, auditing, or finance, or equivalent international degree.

  • If your degree is in accounting or auditing, you must have the UK equivalent grade of 60% in each of the following subject areas: corporate reporting, finance, and management accounting.
  • If your degree is in finance, you must have the UK equivalent grade of 60% in two modules out of the following subject areas: corporate reporting, finance, and management accounting.

If your degree certificate or result is pending, please upload any interim transcripts or provisional certificates.

2. A copy of your IELTS certificate with an overall score of 6.5 with 6.0 in all subskills, or evidence of an accepted equivalent. Please include the date of your expected test if this qualification is pending. If you have alternative acceptable evidence, such as an undergraduate degree studied in the UK, please supply this in place of an IELTS.

If you do not have a degree in a relevant area, your application may be considered on the basis of your professional experience. Please provide additional evidence to support your application such as signed and dated employer references.

Application Deadline

We allocate places on a first-come, first-served basis, so we recommend you apply as early as possible. Applications normally close at the end of August but may close sooner if all places are filled.

Selection process

We will review your application and if you meet all of the entry requirements, we will make you an offer.

Find out more about English language requirements.

Applicants who require a Student visa to study in the UK must present an acceptable English language qualification in order to meet UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) requirements.

Criminal convictions

You are not required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check or provide a Certificate of Good Conduct to study this course.

If you are currently subject to any licence condition or monitoring restriction that could affect your ability to successfully complete your studies, you will be required to disclose your criminal record. Conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • access to computers or devices that can store images
  • use of internet and communication tools/devices
  • curfews
  • freedom of movement
  • contact with people related to Cardiff University.

Course structure

MSc Accounting and Finance is structured around four core module blocks which will allow you to develop specialised knowledge in accounting and finance. Two additional modules offer the opportunity to undertake specialised study in areas that may be of interest for your future career.

We recognise that you may be making a transition from studying accounting and finance at undergraduate level in a national context. The introductory module addresses this by integrating professional and academic perspectives in a broader international and social context.

The modules that follow will help you consider the latest research and practice in accounting and finance including core areas such as corporate reporting, management accounting, corporate finance and investment.

There is the opportunity for specialisation through modules that explore innovative and contemporary ideas such as behavioural finance, financial technology, social and environmental accounting, capital markets and their use of accounting information.

You will develop and apply the key technical and soft skills required to be an effective accounting or finance professional, as you reflect on your engagement in a variety of contemporary business and social issues.

The programme concludes with the completion of either an individual piece of in-depth research or a collaborative live business problem.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2024/25 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2024.

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

Learning and assessment

How will I be taught?

An active learning approach is embedded in the MSc Accounting and Finance.  We believe that effective learning is founded on two things – your involvement in diverse experiences, and the way you make sense of those experiences, both individually and with others.

Consequently, each block of learning includes a variety of activities which can include case studies, videos, company visits, and industry speakers, all designed to introduce new ideas and develop your understanding.

We will help you to enhance the technical and critical skills that you were introduced to during your first degree, to develop your profile as a leading professional.  We will also support you to work with other students to reflect on your existing knowledge and skills.  Sharing your understanding with others is also important and the collaborative learning will enable you to build new insights into the nature of accounting and finance in a variety of contexts.  You will be encouraged to work collaboratively in diverse teams to consider a range of alternative understandings and practices.

Trying out new learning is important too.  You will integrate and apply new understandings, together with new technical and critical skills, in practical tasks embedded in each learning block, and in formal coursework and examination activities. 

How will I be assessed?

The block programme structure provides plenty of opportunities for you to reflect on your learning and development informally.  Short knowledge/skill review activities are built into each module to help you check your progress and improve your approach to learning. This will build your confidence and enhance your approach to formal assessment tasks.

A variety of formal assessment tasks provide the opportunity to explore concepts and models in creative and practical ways.  These include presentations, reports, and exams.  You will work individually and as part of a team, just as you would in the workplace.

All formal assessments are completed within each module.  This enables more in-depth consolidation and application required for successful performance in assessment tasks based on the complex functional level work undertaken by professionals. It also reflects realistic workplace timescales for the completion of tasks.

How will I be supported?

We provide a range of support to keep your studies on track, focussing on your learning, well-being and career.  We recognise that some of you will be transitioning to a different country and different approach to learning, and of course all of you will all be taking a step up in meeting the expectations of postgraduate study.

To enhance your learning, we provide easy access to all course materials using Learning Central, a virtual learning environment. A variety of hard and electronic copies of books, journals and databases are available in libraries across campus.  The development of key academic skills and clarification of assessment expectation are embedded in your programme.  Additional English Language classes are available during term time for students wanting to enhance their spoken and written communication.

Each module is carefully designed to help you explore new concepts and practice in a supportive environment.  This includes opportunities for you to try out your new knowledge in a variety of tasks where you will gain informal individual and all-class feedback.  This will help you identify strengths and areas for development, in anticipation of formal assessment.  We also try to include a formal assessment early in the programme to help you manage your level of achievement as soon as possible. The Programme Director is keen to provide extra support to anyone who needs a helping hand and sign-posting you to sources of additional University support regarding academic content, academic skills and pastoral care, where required.  Each student also has a Personal Tutor. This member of academic staff will maintain an overview of your learning and educational experiences.  If you are experiencing difficulties, your Personal Tutor will be there to listen and where possible provide professional guidance or direct you to the appropriate source of support.

To help you make the most of your time with us, the Postgraduate Student Hub is the first point of call for all your queries about the programme, personal tutoring, your student record, student case queries and the collection of marked assignments. The School’s Student Cases Team provides guidance and support to individuals on Extenuating Circumstances, Interruption of Study, Extensions, Unfair Practice, Appeals, Complaints, Specific Provision.

To enhance your wellbeing, we have a dedicated Student Support Officer, and her dog ‘Winnie’ can provide impartial, non-judgemental and confidential support to students on a wide range of personal, financial and academic matters (e.g., Housing/Accommodation, Student Finance, Immigration, Personal & Course Issues). You can also take advantage of the University’s confidential and free Counselling Service to help you examine issues that may be preventing you for from maximising your full potential. The University also has a Disability and Dyslexia Service providing confidential advice and support is provided for students who are disabled or who have a specific learning difficulty (e.g., dyslexia) or long-term medical condition.

To enhance your career options, we have dedicated Career and Employability Consultants who have developed a package of support for job applications, interviews and job opportunities. Our Placements team also offer advice on available work placements, internships, work experience and opportunities to enhance your CV and broaden your horizons.

When undertaking the dissertation/project you are expected to meet regularly with your supervisor to review progress and discuss any questions. Your supervisor will be able to provide feedback on your research plan and drafts of your work as you progress.

What skills will I practise and develop?

The Learning Outcomes for this Programme describe what you will be able to do as a result of your study at Cardiff University. They will help you to understand what is expected of you. 

The Learning Outcomes for this Programme can be found below:

Knowledge & Understanding:    

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to:

  • Draw on discipline-based knowledge to analyse contemporary challenges in accounting and finance.
  • Postulate the linkages between principles, theory, techniques and practice of accounting and finance.
  • Critically evaluate the relevance of modern theoretical concepts in the context of the ever-changing business environment.
  • Critically evaluate accounting and finance research and professional practice for addressing real-world business scenarios

Intellectual Skills:    

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to:

  • Find and discriminate between competing sources of research and professional practice.
  • Evaluate alternative sources of data and evidence.
  • Analyse methods for generating management information.
  • Critically analyse and synthesise contrasting perspectives and their supporting evidence.
  • Generate and communicate well-evidenced conclusions and recommendations for effective decision-making.

Professional Practical Skills:    

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to:

  • Apply relevant knowledge of the financial reporting and management accounting functions within a range of organisational contexts.
  • Propose evidence-based financial solutions.
  • Apply technical accounting and finance skills in an organisational context through personal research and practical work.
  • Manage personal development within a range of professional landscapes.
  • Develop effective working relationships with peers, clients and other professionals.
  • Reflect on your role within and impact on society.

Transferable/Key Skills:    

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to:

  • Communicate to diverse audiences through a range of media.
  • Challenge assumptions based on robust evidence.
  • Appreciate diversity and different views.
  • Work independently.
  • Engage others to work collaboratively.
  • Use technology to solve problems.

Tuition fees for 2024 entry

Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on your fee status. Your fee status could be home, island or overseas.

Learn how we decide your fee status

Fees for home status

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £13,200 None

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national, your tuition fees for 2024/25 be in line with the overseas fees for international students, unless you qualify for home fee status. UKCISA have provided information about Brexit and tuition fees.

Fees for island status

Learn more about the postgraduate fees for students from the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Fees for overseas status

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £29,200 £2,500

More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.

Financial support

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

Additional costs

There are no additional costs to students.

Will I need any specific equipment to study this course/programme?

No specific equipment is needed.

Living costs

We’re based in one of the UK’s most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.


Master's Scholarships

An award open to UK students intending to study one of our taught master’s degrees.

Postgraduate loans

If you are starting your master’s degree in September 2024 or later, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan to support your study at Cardiff University.

Alumni Discount

The alumni discount is available for Cardiff University graduates who are planning to start an eligible master's in 2024/25.

Careers and placements

At Cardiff Business School, you’ll receive a career-changing education from world-leading academics that have different points of view. They’ll challenge your thinking as you consider the world of business from a range of alternative perspectives.

On our MSc in Accounting and Finance, you’ll benefit from the knowledge and expertise of our Career Enhancer Team. They’re ready and waiting to identify events and opportunities to help you achieve your future aspirations.

We’ve developed relationships that range from the largest multinationals to the smallest micro-businesses, and include a wide variety of social enterprises and cooperatives. We use these networks to deliver value for our students through:

  • real-world case studies and insights
  • guest lectures
  • field trips and workshops.

This wide ranging and varied learning experience will help enhance your career and demonstrate how you can make a difference along the way.

Although this is a specialist programme, you will have a wide range of employment options to choose from, including professional accountancy, the financial services sector, management consultancy or a specialist position in the public sector.


There are no placement opportunities on this programme

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HESA Data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2021. The Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data. Data is from the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2019/20, published by HESA in June 2022.