MSc Accounting and Financial Management

Course overview

The programme aims to provide a thorough postgraduate education in accounting and financial management for graduates who wish to understand how businesses use financial information for decision-making purposes.

The programme provides an analytical and integrated study of accounting and financial management, combining a conceptual and theoretical approach with an emphasis on application to the relevant developments from the current international practice. It will cover issues related to international strategic management, management decision-making and performance evaluation, business finance, global financial reporting as well as ethics and corporate governance. Students will learn to evaluate alternative theories and methodologies and to make judgments on their applicability to complex practical scenarios.

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For more information please contact us by email at or by phone on +44 (0) 118 378 6438.

How we teach you

A holistic approach

Effective leadership requires more than first-class business acumen. It also requires a degree of self-awareness and sensitivity. Henley is renowned for its well-researched, professional approach to this aspect of business education and all our postgraduate programmes examine this aspect of leadership - helping to create emotionally intelligent graduates who can be fully effective in their chosen careers.

How you will learn

Henley Business School enjoys a strong reputation for the practical application of business ideas and concepts, underpinned by academic excellence and the strength of our research. We offer high-quality technical skills training as well as a deep understanding of the importance of personal development for leaders, a thread that runs through all of our Masters programmes.

Our postgraduate masters programmes feature a mix of core and optional modules, allowing you to tailor your degree towards your individual personal development needs and career ambitions. You will complete up to 10 taught modules during your programme, totalling 180 credits. One module usually equates to 20 credits or 10 hours of work per week. Your week will include lectures, tutorials, workshops and personal study, with each accounting for 25% of your time on average. This stimulating mix of lectures and interactive tutorials provides you with the opportunity to discuss and explore the subject material in depth with your lecturers and fellow students. You will be introduced to the latest thinking and research findings and be able to challenge some of those that have created it. You will also explore real-world issues and tackle current business challenges, and interact with guest lectures and speakers from industry, giving you the opportunity to test, extend and refine your knowledge and skills.

How we assess you

You will learn and be assessed through a wide variety of teaching methods which vary depending on your chosen Masters programme. These include online materials and multimedia content, guest lectures, individual and group assignments, case studies, field visits, dealing room simulations, presentations, applied projects, consultancy work and examinations.

On average examinations form around 70% of the assessed work with the remaining 30% coming from coursework, including a written dissertation or project depending on your chosen programme. The exam period falls between April and June in the summer term, with students taking an average of 5 or 6 exams. Graduation normally takes place in December.

Ongoing support

While postgraduate students are self-motivated and determined individuals, study at this level can present additional pressures which we take seriously. Lecturers are available to discuss the content of each module and your personal tutor can meet with you regularly to discuss any additional issues. Full-time support staff are also available to help with any questions or issues that may arise during your time at Henley

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For more information please contact us by email at or by phone on +44 (0) 118 378 6438.

Meet us

If you are unable to attend a postgraduate event please get in touch with our team.  We will be happy to speak to you by telephone, on Skype or through our Live Chat system (during UK office hours: 9 - 5 pm).

Our contact details are: or telephone: +44 (0) 118 378 7593.

Please see our full list of world fairs where you can meet a Henley representative. 




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For more information please contact us by email at or by phone on +44 (0) 118 378 6438.

How to apply

Apply for 2017 entry now

There are two different application processes: apply online and apply by post.

The quickest and easiest way to apply for Postgraduate study at Henley Business School, at the University of Reading is through the University’s online application service.

This allows you to complete your application information, attach electronic copies of your academic transcripts, certificates and other supporting information and also provides a facility for an email request to be sent to your referees enabling them to send your supporting references directly to us.

Apply online

Apply online now using the University of Reading's online application system.

Apply by post

If you are unable to apply online you can request a paper application form by telephoning +44(0) 118 378 5289 or writing to the Admissions Office, University of Reading, Miller Building, Whiteknights, Reading, RG6 6AB, UK.

When to apply

We operate a rolling admissions system and it is recommended that you apply early to secure your place. There is no specific deadline and applications will be considered until the programme is full. However, to allow time for us to process your application we recommend that you apply by the following dates for admission in October:

  • UK/EU applicants: by 1 August
  • International applicants: by 1 June

After you apply

You will receive a confirmation email when we receive your application form. Your application is then reviewed by a member of staff.  Successful applicants will receive a formal offer letter outlining any necessary entry cri­teria you will need to meet and you will be asked to confirm your acceptance of this offer.

A (non refundable) deposit of between £500 and £1,000 (depending on the programme you have applied for) is payable upon acceptance of an offer of a place. International applicants requiring a Certificate of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) for a visa will be sent the CAS details by email once all conditions of the offer have been met, and the relevant deposit has been paid.

Throughout the admissions process we will keep you updated with key information via email.   We also provide opportunities to interact with faculty and staff online.

You can find us on Facebook and keep up-to-date with news and events in the School or ask us a question. In addition, you can speak to a current student; our students and alumni are always happy to share their Henley experience.

Contact image

For more information please contact us by email at or by phone on +44 (0) 118 378 6438.

Contact image

For more information please contact us by email at or by phone on +44 (0) 118 378 6438.

Why Henley?

Duration: 12 months full-time

Starts: September

Assessment: Exams, applied project and individual and group assignments

Consistently maintain highest standards: Henley is in top 1% of business schools worldwide to hold accreditation from all three bodies in the UK, Europe and US

Excellent networking potential : 70,000 Henley alumni in 150 countries

High calibre students: always oversubscribed, 1,000 ambitious new Masters students join Henley each year

Award winning campus: beautiful, green, 134 hectares, with state of the art facilities

World-leading faculty: widely published, frequently asked for expert comment by media and to speak at events

Part of world top 1% ranked university: Reading has a global reputation for its learning experience and employability potential.

Course modules

Module descriptions are correct for modules taught in the academic year 2016/17. Optional module listings are indicative, and may be subject to change.

Module Name Credits


Compulsory modules:

This module aims to introduce students to the core concepts and models underlying contemporary strategic management, their theoretical and empirical foundations, their limitations, the arguments surrounding them and their practical application to real issues facing real companies.  This module provides students with an understanding of the conceptual and analytical tools of strategic management and economics.

  • Theories, frameworks and introduction
  • Internal resources and competencies of firms
  • External environment in which firms operate
  • The process of internationalisation
  • Globalisation and regional integration
  • Collaborative behaviour and strategic alliances
  • Integration/responsiveness framework and strategy



20 [10 ECTS credits]

This module defines and examines the technical language and practices of management accounting and considers its role within organisations and business for decision-making, planning, control and performance evaluation. In addition, students undertaking this course will have the opportunity to examine the theoretical and empirical evidence concerning the development and current practice of management accounting.

  • The role and nature of management accounting
  • Cost terms and concepts; full costing, including activity-based costing; standard costing and variance analysis
  • Cost­–volume–profit analysis
  • Decision-making using variable and marginal costing
  • Pricing decisions
  • Budgeting and management control
  • Performance measurement and management

20 [10 ECTS credits]

This module aims to introduce students to the nature of business finance and its role in decision-making. It provides an analytical framework for an understanding of the company’s major financial decisions by considering the theoretical models, key perspectives and practices that explain these decisions. Various business finance topics will be explored, including investment appraisal in the context of uncertainty.

  • Capital investment decision-making and its applications
  • Sources of finance and cost of capital
  • The valuation of debt and equity
  • Risk, return and portfolio theory
  • Capital asset pricing model
  • Capital structure
  • Dividend policy
  • Working capital management



20 [10 ECTS credits]

This module uses annual reports and accounts, company web sites and share price data to study aspects of business strategy over time; company performance and executive remuneration; and financial performance and valuation. It involves group work, presentations and discussions, as students are asked to analyse a selection of materials, in order to apply the knowledge developed across the programme. Assessment is individual and based on case studies.

Content may include the analysis of:

  • a company’s strategy
  • its executive remuneration policy
  • its financial performance
  • its share price performance
  • the use of other performance measurement metrics (such as the Balanced Scorecard)
  • the value of the company using various valuation techniques to assess future prospects and to evaluate the current share price



20 [10 ECTS credits]

This module aims to provide students with the opportunity to develop their critical knowledge and understanding of the decision-useful and stakeholder-related aspects of financial reporting. This is achieved through an exploration of the principles and methods that underlie both the preparation and presentation of financial statements in an international context.

  • Main objectives of financial reporting
  • Implications of globalisation of accounting practice
  • Preparation of main financial statements
  • Regulatory framework of financial reporting
  • Analysing and interpreting financial statements – financial ratios
  • Current issues in financial reporting

20 [10 ECTS credits]

This module aims to develop further students’ critical knowledge and understanding of financial reporting by considering broader social and political aspects of accounting practice. It is an intermediate to advanced study of financial reporting that builds on the concepts and techniques covered in the International Financial Reporting 1 module (MMM062). Students will develop both applied and theoretical expertise and skills, as a result of this course.

  • Provisions
  • Preparation and interpretation of the key components of group accounting reporting
  • Creative accounting
  • Financial instruments: classification and presentation (fundamentals)
  • The concept of public interest in the context of accounting theory and practice
  • Further evaluation of the usefulness of financial statements

20 [10 ECTS credits]

This module covers the development of corporate governance codes of practice in the UK and around the world. Students undertaking this course will gain a critical and holistic view of corporate governance, which will include an examination of some of the key contextual factors: boards of directors, institutional investors, transparency, sustainability reporting, ethical issues and responsible investment.

  • Theoretical frameworks for corporate governance, accountability and ethics
  • The consequences of corporate governance weaknesses and failure
  • The UK corporate governance framework: codes of practice and governance reviews
  • Internal mechanisms: board effectiveness, the role of non-executive directors, remuneration structures
  • External mechanisms, especially the role of institutional investors
  • International corporate governance: comparative analysis
  • Corporate governance and stakeholder accountability: holistic governance
  • Responsible investment

20 [10 ECTS credits]

 This module aims to help students get the most from the learning opportunities offered during their MSc course. It provides students with an understanding of what is required to perform well in essays, dissertations, projects, report writing and examinations at the University of Reading. It develops students’ awareness of the appropriate use of methodology, theory, data, literature reviews and original research for a Masters dissertation or project.
  • Essay and exam skills
  • Learning styles
  • Literature review
  • Selecting an appropriate methodology
  • Good research practice
  • Specific research methods
  • MSc dissertation and project



0 [0 ECTS credits]


Students undertaking this module will gain an awareness of the appropriate use of methodology, theory, data, literature review and original research that is required for a Masters dissertation.  Students will thus be equipped with the necessary skills that will enable them to conduct their own piece of original research, analyse the results and present their findings.

  • The nature and practice of research
  • The literature review process and the composition of a literature review
  • The nature and role of methodology in management research
  • The role and application of theory in management research
  • Quantitative and qualitative data sources
  • Data analysis and writing up research findings

40 [20 ECTS credits]

The Project enables students to undertake independent research on a specified topic relating to international accounting and/or financial management. With the guidance and support of a supervisor, students manage their own project, taking an aspect of theory and applying it to real companies. Previous projects, for example, have involved analysing published accounts of listed companies to investigate financial performance, dividend policy and the management of capital structure.

  • Define objectives of research
  • Research subject company
  • Synthesise relevant literature
  • Identify relevant data
  • Analyse data
  • Evaluate findings

20 [10 ECTS credits]

Optional modules:

Students choosing MMM049 must choose one optional modules to the value of 20 credits. For students choosing MMM090 Dissertation, a project to dissertation form must be completed and no optional modules are available.

 The aim of this module is to enable students to appraise and appreciate business practices in unfamiliar contexts, and to explain the differences between these and the contexts that they are familiar with. Moreover, students will learn how managers can address challenges of cross-cultural situations, such as transferring management practice, business negotiations, multicultural teams and expatriation.
  • Management in a national context
  • Institutional perspectives on business in economics and sociology
  • Communication across language boundaries
  • International labour issues
  • National and organisational cultures
  • Corporate governance systems
  • Management transfers




20 [10 ECTS credits]

This module concerns the entrepreneurial activity and the distinctive features of management in the SME environment, its complexity, the additional challenges and risks related to the small dimension, but also its advantages.

By the end of the module students are expected to be able to question theories and standard knowledge, often referring to large corporations, and apply this body of knowledge to SMEs.


The module consists of lectures and seminars. The seminars focus on the students’ groupwork on their Business Plans. Entrepreneurs and experts from the business world contribute to the module by sharing and discussing their experience.

  • Concept of entrepreneurship and the economic role of entrepreneurs
  • Business plan
  • The importance of SMEs
  • Networks and clusters
  • Sources of finance
  • Marketing
  • Innovation
  • Internationalisation

20 [10 ECTS credits]

This module concerns the interaction between corporations and their environment from an evolutionary perspective. It enables students to reflect critically on key topics in management and gain a long-term view. Themes are analysed through relevant business and economic theories and conceptual frameworks, as well as case studies. It aims to provide students with the ability to integrate theories and business practice in their coursework and exams.

  • Models of business organisation and their evolution
  • Marketing and markets
  • The institutionalisation of innovation
  • Open versus closed innovation systems
  • Financing the firm

20 [10 ECTS credits]

This module aims to define the ‘cultural industries’ and identify the key features of these sectors that explain their structure and functioning over time. It identifies the main challenges for organisations involved in the production or distribution of cultural products and services, and critically analyses the various ways in which organisations have responded to these challenges in different commercial and cultural contexts.

  • Protecting intellectual property rights
  • Creative individuals, teams and clusters
  • The perpetual search for innovation amid shifting logics
  • Managing uncertainty: a historical perspective
  • Strategic planning
  • Technological change
  • The role of networks

20 [10 ECTS credits]

 This module aims to examine international business strategy and financial performance of the multinational enterprise (MNE). It will provide students with an understanding of what globalisation and regionalisation mean for today’s managers, the best way to extend their knowledge of how MNEs function, how to turn the messages from the academic literature into effective business strategies within an MNE and how to measure the financial performance of MNEs.
  • Conceptual foundation of international business strategy: seven concepts and one unifying framework
  • Implications of international business strategy for MNE performance; review of financial analysis; practical applications
  • The critical role of firm-specific advantages (FSAs)
  • The nature of home country specific advantages and the problem with host country specific advantages
  • Combining firm-specific advantages and location-specific advantages
  • Introduction to international financial management in MNEs
  • Dynamics of entry-mode strategies: foreign distributors, strategic alliance, mergers and acquisitions



20 [10 ECTS credits]

Apply online

Fees and funding

  Home (UK/EU) Overseas (non EU) 
2016 Entry £12,500 £19,200
2017 Entry £12,500 £19,800
Please note that a non-refundable deposit is payable when confirming your acceptance of an offer of a place. This is part of your tuition fee and will be deducted from the total amount upon enrolment.

Alumni of the University of Reading who undertake their next level of study at Henley Business School will receive a tuition fee discount of £1000.

(UK applicants only)

Applicants who normally live in the UK (for a minimum of three years) can apply for a Professional and Career Development Loan to borrow between £300 and £10,000. This is a bank loan, with interest charged at a commercial fixed rate.

How to apply for a Career Development Loan

See Professional and Career Development Loans.

The University provides opportunities to students from a wide range of backgrounds, who have the desire and ability to succeed. There are a range of scholarships and bursaries on offer for postgraduate students. For further information see: Money matters, costs and budgets for postgraduate students.

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

A good first or second class UK honours degree, or overseas equivalent, will usually be required.  Applicants with relevant experience or professional qualifications will also be considered.

Prior knowledge or experience of your chosen subject area is not required. We welcome applications from recent university graduates from a wide range of disciplines.

See country and region-specific information and entry requirements for International applicants or please contact us with any questions.

Not quite at the required level of English language proficiency for your chosen programme?

Applicants to Henley Business School, whose first language is not English, will be required to attain the International English Language Test Scores (IELTS), or equivalent acceptable qualification accepted by the University, as defined below, to enter a programme.

However, for students who successfully complete one of the Pre-sessional English Language courses run by our International Study and Language Institute, a half-band credit will be applied to their English language condition. (For example - programmes requiring IELTS 7.0 will accept students with a result of 6.5 in the end of Pre-sessional English course assessment providing the student has completed the relevant English course with us).

Applications to the International Study and Language Institute

Henley Business School requires a minimum IELTS score of 7.0 (with no element below 6.0) to enter all programmes except Information Management. Information Management programmes require an IELTS score of 6.5 (with no element below 5.5).

Students completing the above mentioned pre-sessional courses would be allowed entry onto their chosen programme with an overall score of 6.5 for all programmes except Information Management, which will generally accept 6.0.

Equivalent English Language Qualifications will also be accepted. If you require specific advice on your qualification please contact our admissions office directly either by e-mail at or by telephone on +44 118 378 5289.

UK visa requirements

If you are not a national of the European Union (EU), it is likely that you will need to obtain a UK visa to live and study in the UK before you travel. See the UK Border Agency website. Contact the University's International Office with any questions:

2.1 degree, or equivalent, from an internationally recognised university; not necessarily in a related discipline.

Apply online

Careers and accreditations

Students will enhance their employability in their related first-degree disciplines or in any general business management roles. The programme will also enhance career opportunities in more specialised accounting and finance fields. As the programme offers an international perspective, career prospects are likely to be international.  In addition, the programme will serve as a good basis for further academic development in accounting- and finance-related disciplines.

Graduates from this programme will enhance their employability in a range of careers related to their first-degree discipline or in a general business as well as more specialised accounting and finance roles.

This programme gives students the opportunity to gain the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) certificate level papers C01 to C05.

What our students say

Speak to a student

Our students and alumni are always keen to share their Henley experience, whether you are a prospective applicant or you've already applied for a place on a Masters programme at Henley Business School. For a unique insight into every aspect of life in the School and on campus, you can contact any of our students and alumni below, via email, Skype or social media.

When contacting one of our students for the first time, please introduce yourself and the Masters programme you have applied for before you outline any questions you might have.

Bakytnur Sagynova, Kazakhstan
MSc Accounting and Financial Management, 2016

Email: Email

Yernar Baktiyarov, Kazakhstan
MSc Accounting and Financial Management, 2016

Email: Email

Jun Ying Wong, UK
MSc Accounting and Financial Management, 2015

Email: Email

James Stevenson, United Kingdom
MSc Accounting and Financial Management, 2015

Email: Email

Student profiles

Shu-Hua Hung
MSc in Accounting and Financial Management, 2012

Study abroad was always my dream and I chose to study for my MSc in Accounting and Financial Management at Henley Business School due to its world-wide reputation and its well-deigned modules. Through this MSc degree, I hoped I could gain professional skills and international experience which could possibly help with my future career.

I am glad that I made this decision to study at Henley because it provided high quality faculties combed with a diversity of modules and a high quality of teaching. During my student life in Henley, I not only gained professional knowledge and skills as its highest teaching quality, but also got continuous support and care from teachers and staff. The beautiful campus and the perfect location near London also attracted me.

I would not hesitate to recommend this programme to anyone who wants to gain a basic understanding of accounting and management or to advance their professional knowledge and skills in these areas. The modules not only covered important knowledge for those who want to pursue an accounting or management role, but also provided some advanced viewpoints to challenge students. The teachers used very useful examples to help our understanding and inspired our independent and critical thinking. I found it helped me to learn the most I could during this one-year programme.

I truly enjoyed my life in Henley and sincerely appreciated the support and care that I got there, and I am sure you will as well.