University of the West of Scotland

Postgraduate Programme Specification

Session: 2021/22

Last modified: 26/05/2021 14:58:15

Named Award Title:MSc Finance and Accounting with CIMA

Award Title for Each Award: MSc  Finance and Accounting with CIMA
PG Cert  Finance and Accounting
PG Dip  Finance and Accounting

Awarding Institution/Body: University of the West of Scotland
Language of Instruction & Examination: English
Award Accredited By:Eligible for exemption from Chartered Institute of Managemnet Accounting (CIMA)
Maximum Period of Registration:Normally 12 months full time with maximum of 36 months.
Mode of Study:Full Time
Part Time
Campus:Distance/Online Learning
Paisley

School:School of Business & Creative Industries
Programme Leader:Gerry McPake

Admission Criteria

Candidates must be able to satisfy the general admission requirements of the University of the West of Scotland as specified in Chapter 2 of the University Regulatory Framework together with the following programme requirements:

Appropriate Undergraduate Qualification
Candidates must be able to satisfy the requirements found in Sections 2.1 to 2.10 of the University Regulatory Framework. Any Business related Honour's degree is normally acceptable.
Other Required Qualifications/Experience


An applicant whose qualifications do not conform to the general
entrance requirements but who presents other evidence which
indicates an interest in personal educational advancement and an
aptitude for academic study at the level concerned may be admitted to
a programme of study at the discretion of the University.

See regulation 2.13 for details of the University's policies on recognition of prior learning (RPL)and recognition of prior experiential learning (APEL). Either of these attributes will be assessed on an individual basis.


Further desirable skills pre-application

Where English is not the first language, students must be able to satisfy the University of their competence in English. Either by having a TOEFL score of 550 or above or an IELTS score of 6 or above (5.5 in each component) or equivalent.


General Overview

 

General Overview

The MSc Finance and Accounting offers the opportunity to gain both relevant contextual and subject specialist knowledge in the area of Finance and Accounting through a structured and focused programme of academic studies. The MSc Finance and Accounting programme will add value to first degrees by developing individuals with an integrated and critically aware understanding of Finance and Accounting. The programme has been designed to match with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) syllabus. 

The objectives of the Finance and Accounting programme are to:

  • Develop critical, analytical problem-based learning skills and transferable skills to prepare the student for postgraduate employment in the area of Finance and Accounting
  • Enable the student to continue to engage in lifelong learning
  • Assist the student to develop further skills required for both autonomous practice and team-working within the accounting profession
  • Enable a systematic understanding of current finance and accounting theory and practice, and of future developments both in the UK and internationally
  • Encourage students to adopt an analytical and creative approach to study, and to develop the ability to argue rationally, communicate clearly, and form sound judgements
  • Enhance students’ knowledge, skills and abilities through the execution of a Master level project

The MSc Finance and Accounting programme seeks to offer a portfolio of modules reflecting the needs of those wishing to pursue a career in accounting or/and finance but who may not have accounting as their first degree. The programme focuses on conceptual understanding and practical skills of accounting and finance supplemented by an understanding of the background within which accounting operates.  Therefore, the specific nature of this programme as a conversion degree (Type 2) makes it stand out, as most of our competitors in the market offer masters degrees for a specialised group of students who obtained their first degree in Finance and Accounting.

 

Programme Overview (Employers)

The MSc Finance and Accounting programme aims to develop graduates who are highly competent within their discipline and who can potentially gain exemption from CIMA. The programme seeks to enable graduates to gain a competitive edge in pursuing management and professional careers. The Programme provides employer relevant postgraduate education in finance and accounting, and addresses the development of those transferable skills that are sought by employers throughout the world.

Programme Overview (Students)

Students will enhance their academic and professional skills on completion of the Finance and Accounting programme and will:

  • Develop further the skills required for both autonomous practice and team-working
  • Improve the practical skills essential in both Finance and Accounting broad areas
  • Enhance knowledge skills and abilities through the execution of a Master’s level project
  • Develop high level finance and accountancy skills relevant to arrange of employability opportunities

There is an expectation that our graduates will be attractive to large firms such as Ernst & Young and Morgan Stanley.

Progression within the Programme Progression Routes

There is no formal progression routes within the MSc programme. However, student work transitions from T1 

Any student who has gained 120 credits with a minimum of 90 at SCQF11 and who does not wish to progress to the Masters level (60 credit dissertation element), or whose progress is arrested, may exit with a Postgraduate Diploma in Finance and Accounting. Students may also exit with PgCert if they achieve 60 credits. See the conditions on PgCert and PgDip Awards required for this programme below.

A distinction is awarded in the Diploma to students who satisfy the criteria set out in the University Regulatory Framework - Reg 3.25-3.26

Progression Routes beyond the programme

Students may wish to fully complete their professional accreditation with CIMA as the primary aim of this programme is to obtain professional exemptions. Other progression routes include a research career or further management qualifications such as an MBA or DBA.

Learning, Teaching & Assessment 

The programme team use a range of teaching methods across their modules, including lectures, tutorials, seminars and case study workshops to introduce knowledge, develop skills and discuss/evaluate key issues and concepts. In delivering the curriculum, the lecture sessions are designed to introduce students to the topic area, whilst drawing on examples and student experiences to encourage engagement.  Guidance on the nature and content of lectures will be provided in the associated module handbook.  All lecture slides will be available in advance via CampusMoodle.

Tutorials and seminars will be interactive in nature allowing students to actively participate making the most of the learning opportunities available to them. This will assist students to evaluate their understanding of key concepts. The modules will make extensive use of case studies enabling students to develop analytical and critical evaluation skills and the application of theory to practice.

The Learning, Teaching and Assessment strategy of this programme builds on the programme team experience of delivering Masters and professional programmes, and is designed to ensure the development of confident individuals with high quality skills and graduate attributes that are recognised and valued not only by the students themselves, but also by employers and the wider community. This is achieved through:

  • Utilising formative and summative assessments
  • Developing employability skills
  • Placing learning and subject content within an international context
  • Making use of relevant learning technology where appropriate

The assessment approaches are designed to encourage learning and analysis as required by the learning outcomes. The programme utilises an extensive range of assessment methods.

To help further develop the student’s sense of critical enquiry each module will contain significant directed learning activities. Within that context, an emphasis on critical reading, principally of academic literature, will be encouraged. To complete a 20 credit module, students will be expected to spend, typically on average, about 15 hours per week on directed and independent study activities and on completing both summative and formative assessment.

External & Internal Reference Points Used to Inform Programme Outcomes

External reference points including QAA Benchmark Statements and the Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework (SCQF, level 11) descriptors were utilised in the development of this programme. The QAA benchmark statements for MSc programmes in Business and Management were used in determining the learning outcomes and the general approach to teaching and learning. Development has been also in line with the University Regulatory Framework. In addition the taught modules have been matched with their counterparts within the CIMA course of study.

The University’s 'Education Enabling Plan' has been used extensively in informing the programme’s outcomes to ensure that learning, teaching and assessment is externally informed, has a strong international perspective and that the eLearning materials are of a high standard. The Education Enabling Plan has also been used to inform the development of a personal tutor system that is appropriate to the online format.

Staff within the Accounting and Finance Group have substantial and high quality experience in research and international consultancy.  In previous Research Exercises, Accounting has been consistently rated as being world class; staff have been extensively involved in international consultancies ranging from: Azerbaijan, Vietnam, Rwanda, Kazakhstan, Albania, and Belarus. Such research and international consultancies have been used to inform the syllabus and will be used to both enthuse and motivate students in their learning. This international experience will also be used to emphasise the global nature of modern accounting. 

 

 


Graduate Attributes, Employability & Personal Development Planning

The programme aims to provide a rigorous grounding in knowledge, skills and understanding necessary for graduates to embark on a career in finance and accounting.

The programme recognises that students will come to the programme from various academic backgrounds and that future employability prospects will be enhanced by this higher level development of enquiry, research, and critical analysis skills fostered by the programme.

Personal Development Planning will be encouraged in line with university policy both at programme and module level. At programme level, students will be encouraged to maintain a personal development plan and be directed to appropriate sites and activities that promote development of the individual. At module level, students will be encouraged at regular intervals to consider and internalise their learning to date and, if appropriate, update their personal development plans.

Our Graduates

The University puts you, the future graduate, at the heart of everything that is does.

The MSc Finance and Accounting programme has been designed to ensure that you, on completion of your degree, have all the necessary attributes required of a modern graduate in a professional workplace.

Your modules are designed to develop a range of skills that are academic (developing your knowledge, skills and abilities to a high-level for academic study), personal (ensuring that your qualities and characteristics result in you being a well-round, developed, responsible individual, both in the workplace and in life), and professional (developing the range of skills that you need in a modern and constantly changing working environment). These are the keystones in modern accounting and finance.

Your modules, both in terms of content and assessment, are professionally focussed to develop:

Your academic skills (critical thinking, analysing, inquiring, improving knowledge, being digitally literate, problem solving, autonomy, being incisive and being innovative);

Your personal skills (being emotionally intelligent, being ethically-minded, being culturally aware, communicating effectively, being influential, being motivated, being creative, being imaginative and being resilient), and;

Your professional skills (collaborating, being research-minded, being socially responsible, becoming a potential leader, being enterprising, being ambitious, being driven, being daring, and being transformative). 

We want you to be:

- Globally relevant with applicable abilities, skills and behaviours (Universal)l

- Dynamic and to prepare for employment in a complex and change environment through resilience and a lifelong commitment to learning (Work Ready), and;

- Build a solid foundation on which to continue to succeed and realise your potential across various contexts (Successful). 

Universal, Work Ready and Successful is UWS.

Work Based Learning/Placement Details

The normal duration of the MSc Programme is one full academic year and so work based placements are not possible. However, the programme is enrhanced by: guest speakers from industry, professional body visits, employability events and use of industry and professionally relevant actities and case studies.

 

Engagement and Attendance

In line with the Academic Engagement and Attendance Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on Moodle, and complete assessments and submit these on time.

For the purposes of this programme, this equates to the following:

In line with School policy, all students are normally expected to meet a minimum attendance criteria (75%); demonstrate engagement with resources; and attempt all module assessments. In special circumstances students where attendance is restricted, students would be expected to demonstrate weekly engagement with online VLE resources.

Equality and Diversity


The University's Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Procedure can be accessed at the following link: UWS Equality and Diversity Policy

As per University regulations and policies. The MSc is an international programme that welcomes students from all backgrounds and countries to participate in its teaching & learning activities. Communication, co-operation and respect are our fundamental principles of our online and classroom environments.


Programme structures and requirements, SCQF level, term, module name and code, credits and awards ( Chapter 1, Regulatory Framework )

A. PG Cert
Learning Outcomes (Maximum of 5 per heading)

Knowledge and Understanding

A1Demonstrate a critical and integrated understanding of core areas of finance and accounting
A2Describe and critically assess the impact the regulations have on businesses
A3Understand the theoretic underpinning of finance and accounting
A4Demonstrate a critical awareness of issues of current interest and debate in finance and accounting

Practice - Applied Knowledge and Understanding

B1Use a range of specialist skills, techniques and practices associated with finance and accounting
B2Apply relevant knowledge and understanding to a range of complex accounting situations taking account of its relationship and interaction with other areas of the organisation
B3
Demonstrate originality and creativity in applying knowledge and understanding to a range of business law related situations
B4
Apply skill, knowledge and understanding in the planning and execution of techniques of enquiry

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills

C1Use a range of skills including academic writing and referencing skills, analysis and interpretation of complex information and the use of appropriate ICT skills to aid dissemination of information
C2Communicate effectively and engage in discourse with lecturers, fellow students and demonstrate the ability to convey complex ideas and concepts effectively
C3Demonstrate an effective use of communication skills

Generic Cognitive Skills - Problem Solving, Analysis, Evaluation

D1Identify, conceptualise and apply critical analysis to new and abstract problems and issues related to finance and accounting
D2Critically review and consolidate knowledge relating to accounting and legal situations

Autonomy, Accountability and Working With Others

E1Exercise substantial autonomy and initiative in professional and equivalent activities
E2Be self-directed and take responsibility for own study and using own initiative
E3Develop time management skills to schedule and manage own and, where appropriate, others activities
E4Use initiative to cooperate and share learning with fellow students and, where appropriate, demonstrate leadership in teams

Core Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
               

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes
All modules are LM level.

Optional Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
               

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes
There are no optional modules in Term 1.

Criteria for Progression and Award

Students can exit with a Postgraduate Certificate in Finance and Accounting provided they have completed a minimum of 60 credits, 40 credits of which must include the two core modules: Strategic Financial Accounting and Strategic Management Accounting. These are foundation modules in the critical disciplines of Financial Accounting and Management Accounting.

Further guidance on progression on core and optional modules and the consequences of failure of core modules can be found in regulations 3.6 and 3.7, and regulations for progression can be found in 3.13 to 3.14. Regulations for the award can be found in regulations 3.15 to 3.16 and for intermediate awards in 1.33, 1.61 and 3.27. Criteria for distinction is found in sections 3.25 to 3.26.


B. PG Dip
Learning Outcomes (Maximum of 5 per heading)

Knowledge and Understanding

A1A critical and integrated understanding of the theory and practice of critical enquiry and in developing research plans
A2A critical awareness of the role and principles of finance and accounting within the business community
A3A critical understanding of the principles and precepts of finance and accounting
A4An understanding of the role and techniques of quantitative analysis in the decision making processes in business

Practice - Applied Knowledge and Understanding

B1Use a significant range of specialist skills, techniques and practices associated with finance and accounting
B2Apply relevant knowledge and understanding of ethics and governance to a range of complex situations
B3Ability to critically evaluate and analyse current research and practice within the finance and accounting discipline
B4Identify, conceptualise, define and make informed judgements on problems in an accounting context often on the basis of incomplete information
B5Demonstrate originality and creativity in applying knowledge and understanding to a range of accounting situations and problems

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills

C1Use a range of skills including academic writing and referencing skills, analysis and interpretation of complex information and the use of appropriate ICT skills to aid dissemination of information
C2Communicate effectively and engage in discourse with lecturers, fellow students and demonstrate the ability to convey complex ideas and concepts effectively
C3Effective use of a range of appropriate communication strategies
C4Develop and apply numeracy skills as appropriate to assist in the decision making process
C5Use a range of software to support and enhance the understanding of complex issues

Generic Cognitive Skills - Problem Solving, Analysis, Evaluation

D1Develop original and creative responses to the analysis, evaluation and synthesis of data and other accounting information
D2Critically review and consolidate knowledge relating to complex finance and accounting situations
D3Ability to locate, extract and analyse financial data from multiple sources

Autonomy, Accountability and Working With Others

E1Exercise substantial autonomy and initiative in professional and equivalent activities
E2Be self-directed and take responsibility for own study and using own initiative
E3Develop time management skills to schedule and manage own and, where appropriate, others activities
E4Use initiative to cooperate and share learning with fellow students and, where appropriate, demonstrate leadership in teams

Core Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
               

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes
All modules are LM level.

Optional Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
               

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes
There are no optional modules in Term 2.

Criteria for Progression and Award

Students who have gained all 120 core credits and do not wish to transition to Masters, or whose progress is arrested, may exit with a Postgraduate Diploma in Finance and Accounting. All taught modules are core and align with CIMA's Managerial Level syllabus. Students are required to have passed all core modules above to satisfy 'CIMA Masters Gateway' conditions for exemptions and eligibility to undertake the CIMA Management Case Study Examination (MCS).

A distinction is awarded in the Diploma to students who satisfy the criteria set out in the University Regulatory Framework - Regulations 3.25 to 3.26.


C. Masters
Learning Outcomes (Maximum of 5 per heading)

Knowledge and Understanding

A1Demonstrate detailed and critical knowledge of the finance and accounting literature relevant to the chosen topic and a high appreciation of the practical problems faced in application
A2Display a critical understanding of a range of specialised theories, principles and concepts relevant to the chosen topic within finance and accounting
A3Display a critical awareness of current issues relevant to the topic and related areas
A4Demonstrate a critical understanding of the role and function of corporate law in finance and accounting practice

Practice - Applied Knowledge and Understanding

B1Apply a range of skills, techniques and practices associated with the finance and accounting area
B2A practical understanding of how established techniques are used to develop and interpret issues related to finance and accounting
B3Apply an appropriate research strategy to the selection and distillation of relevant information from a wide range of sources and a large body of knowledge
B4Plan and execute a significant project together with its investigation and development

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills

C1Further develop academic writing skills, including appropriate acknowledgement and referencing sources
C2Use both quantitative and qualitative appropriate techniques in order to increase effectiveness and performance of the analysis of data
C3Able to use appropriate software to support and enhance analysis and presentation of data
C4Communicate with a range of audiences and adapt the communication to the context and purpose

Generic Cognitive Skills - Problem Solving, Analysis, Evaluation

D1Demonstrate the ability to recognise problems in finance and accounting and reporting and identify suitable means to respond to and manage them effectively
D2Conceptual understanding that enables the evaluation of the accuracy and validity of published research and assess its' relevance to new situations
D3Capability for independent and self-managed learning such that they can analyse their own personal strengths and weaknesses and formulate strategies for improvement

Autonomy, Accountability and Working With Others

E1Ability to question standard practice and to apply professional judgement in making recommendations and solving problems for future best practice
E2Demonstrate an ability to interact with supervision in an effective manner
E3Demonstrate an ability to manage time and resources
E4Work in ways that are reflective, self-critical and based on research/evidence
E5Deal with complex ethical and professional issues

Core Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
11ACCT11026Advanced Management Accounting20   
11ACCT11016Business Research & Analysis20   
11ACCT11021Enterprise Management20   
11ACCT11029Finance & Accounting Dissertation (CIMA)60   
11ACCT11023Strategic Financial Accounting20   
11ACCT11031Strategic Financial Management20   
11ACCT11024Strategic Management Accounting20   

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes
**Students are strongly advised to complete the Dissertation project after exploring research methods and preparing a Research Proposal as part of the 'Business Research & Analysis' module undertook in Term 2. Within this module students are required to write and submit a research proposal as an assessment instrument which may form the basis for the dissertation in Term 3. Each student will be allocated a supervisor with whom they communicate directly throughout the dissertation phase.

Optional Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
               

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Criteria for Award

There is no formal progression route for the programme.

To successfully complete the Masters stage of the MSc Finance and Accounting, a student must achieve a minimum grade of 50% in the dissertation, have passed all 120 credit core modules and so have attained 180 credits at SCQF 11.
(Students should be aware that it is possible to pass the 'Finance & Accounting Dissertation' but still not be eligible for any Exit Award unless conditions of PgCert, Pg Dip and MSc are satisfied)

A distinction will be awarded to students who satisfy the requirements of Regulations 3.25 to 3.26 - Award of Distinction.

In the event that students do not meet the programme requirements for PgCert, PgDip and MSc Awards, students with enough credits may be eligible to exit with a UWS PgC or PgD 'Combined Studies Award'.


Regulations of Assessment

Candidates will be bound by the general assessment regulations of the University as specified in the University Regulatory Framework .

An overview of the assessment details is provided in the Student Handbook and the assessment criteria for each module is provided in the module descriptor which forms part of the module pack issued to students. For further details on assessment please refer to Chapter 3 of the Regulatory Framework.

To qualify for an award of the University, students must complete all the programme requirements and must meet the credit minima detailed in Chapter 1 of the Regulatory Framework.



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