bS accounting and finance course outline

Last Updated on August 12, 2023 by Oluwajuwon Alvina

Accounting and Finance with a Year in Industry - BSc (Hons) - Undergraduate  courses - University of Kent

Accounting students will gain advanced theoretical and practical knowledge of accounting and finance; master computational and calculation skills and techniques used in professional accounting practice; learn how to use specialized accounting software (such as CIMA Sage, which may allow you to gain an official CIMA Sage user’s certificate); and gain a broad understanding of the accounting, finance and commercial sectors, often within an international context.

Types of accounting degrees

There are many different types of accounting degrees, with undergraduate-level titles such as Bachelor of Accountancy or Bachelors in Accounting. The specialized Bachelor of Accountancy (BAcy, BAcc or BAccty) in the US is often the only undergraduate degree recognized in the country for subsequent practice as a professional accountant – in that respect, it works as a first professional degree.

Elsewhere, accounting degrees may be offered as a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Accounting, or as a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Accounting (also abbreviated as BS/ACC). Meanwhile, South Africa offers undergraduate accounting degrees titled Bachelor of Accounting Science (BAccSci) and Baccalaureus Computationis (BCompt).

While many universities offer undergraduate degrees with a sole focus on accounting, it’s also common to find accounting offered alongside other subjects (most commonly finance, economics or business management) in a joint-degree format. There are also general business degrees with a focus on accounting such as the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Accounting and the Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) in Accounting.

Most accounting degrees are accredited by a relevant professional body for accountants at the national level. Examples include the UK-based Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants, Institute of Financial Accountants and Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants based in the US. Studying an accredited degree allows graduates to apply to the relevant body for exemptions from certain exams once they start working towards chartered accountant status.

Entry requirements for accounting degrees

Those applying to study accounting are usually required to demonstrate a strong background in mathematics, while those who have taken courses in statistics or business will be at an additional advantage. Some universities allow students to switch between accountancy programs after their first year, to choose a track that best matches their interests and abilities, following their general introductory courses.

What to expect from undergraduate accounting degrees

Generally, undergraduate-level accounting degrees last four years in the US, three years in Singapore, the UK and Australia (and most other countries), and two years in Malta provided the student has obtained exceptional grades in a Bachelor of Commerce degree.

In the first year or half of their degree, students will be introduced to key topics within accounting, finance and business. They can then choose to specialize in particular accounting topics and that interest them, contingent on the institution’s available modules.

Students generally work towards completing a major research project, with other assessment methods including reports, group presentations and portfolios. Teaching is usually classroom-based, involving individual and group exercises, case studies, lectures, seminars and IT workshops, including the use of accounting software.

Most institutions provide teaching staff with professional experience in the accounting and finance sectors, while many also allow students to spend a year on an industrial placement, gaining valuable work experience, language and accounting skills and professional contacts, either locally or abroad.

Key Skills

Common skills gained with an accounting degree include:

  • Advanced knowledge of accounting topics, skills and techniques
  • Computational and technology skills, including proficiency in accounting software
  • Enhanced quantitative skills and techniques
  • Awareness of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP)
  • Understanding of regulatory issues in accounting
  • Broad and global awareness of business and economics issues and organizations
  • Understanding of ethical, legal and social responsibility in business, including accountability
  • Advanced analytical and problem-solving ability
  • Ability to analyze complex data sets
  • Ability to make financial decisions
  • Ability to work in a team, both in leadership and collaborative roles
  • Ability to approach issues from multiple perspectives
  • Ability to tactfully deal with sensitive information
  • Project management skills
  • Logical decision-making and strategic and creative thinking abilities
  • Time management and self-reliance
  • Clear and concise oral and written communication skills, aimed towards financial and non-financial audiences
  • Foreign language skills (if taking a year abroad or a foreign language module)

The University of Manchester – BSc Accounting / Course details

Coronavirus information for applicants and offer-holders

We understand that prospective students and offer-holders may have concerns about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The University is following the advice from Universities UK, Public Health England and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Course description

This unique, professionally-oriented course has been designed alongside the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) Undergraduate Partnership Programme (UPP).

It will provide you with a fast track to an accountancy qualification and the four-year degree  offers you the opportunity of a full-year paid work placement in your third year of study.

Special features

The ICAEW hold networking events at Alliance Manchester Business School which provide you with the opportunity to meet companies who offer internships through the UPP, such as Ernst & Young, Goldman Sachs, Grant Thornton, Mazars and PwC.

The course integrates study of the theory and practice of accounting, and offers significant exemptions from the examinations of professional accountancy bodies, particularly those of the ICAEW. You could gain up to eight exemptions from ICAEW ACA papers and qualify as a chartered accountant two years after graduation.

You will be taught by staff who are leading researchers in their fields, some of whom are also qualified accountants.

Teaching and learning

You will normally study four or five course units per semester. Each week there are usually two hours of lectures for each course unit and a one hour workshop in alternate weeks, although this varies slightly. You are expected to double this in private study. Group work and group or individual presentations will form a regular part of your assignments.

Coursework and assessment

Essays, multiple choice tests, project reports and presentations, in-class tests and weekly assignments constitute the coursework component of assessment, although the nature and proportion of coursework varies across course units. The remainder of assessment is by unseen examination. Depending on the degree course, in your final year you can choose to do a research-based dissertation or project. We aim to strike a balance between examinations and assessed coursework as well as providing opportunities for feedback on progress through non-assessed work.

Course unit details

The focus of the degree is on accounting and finance. Other relevant subjects such as management, law, mathematics, statistics and economics are also covered. There is some scope for you to study related subjects to broaden your knowledge of business and management, subject to the requirements of professional accreditation. You will receive a strong theoretical and practical grounding in the principles of accounting and acquire appropriate transferable skills.

Course content for year 1

Your first year is designed to introduce you to the foundations of accounting and finance. You will also study course units in mathematics, statistics, economics and law. A specialist course unit – only available to BSc (Hons) Accounting students – will introduce you to the skills and techniques required by the accountancy profession and will begin to prepare you for the workplace. Your first year project involves you preparing a competitive tender for an audit with support from employers such as KPMG.

Course units for year 1

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Financial ReportingBMAN1050110Mandatory
Introductory Management AccountingBMAN1051210Mandatory
Financial Decision Making MBMAN10522M10Mandatory
Quantitative Methods for Accounting and FinanceBMAN1075020Mandatory
Auditing & Professional Accounting Practice IBMAN1076020Mandatory
Law in a Management ContextBMAN1090110Mandatory
Microeconomics 1ECON1022110Mandatory
Macroeconomics 1ECON1025210Mandatory
Fundamentals of ManagementBMAN1001110Optional
Marketing FoundationsBMAN1010110Optional
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Course content for year 2

Your second year will develop your analytical skills and give you a more in-depth understanding of accounting. You will take core course units in accounting and finance, plus a ten-credit business law course unit. You will develop your understanding of business strategy, accounting and auditing practice through a specialist course unit.

You will also select an optional 10-credit course unit – either from the list of optional second-year course units below, or from a range of University College level 2 course units, including the Manchester Leadership Programme .

Course units for year 2

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Financial Statement AnalysisBMAN2008110Mandatory
Business StrategyBMAN2081210Mandatory
Professional Accounting PracticeBMAN2088110Mandatory
Financial Reporting and AccountabilityBMAN2102020Mandatory
Intermediate Management AccountingBMAN2104020Mandatory
Foundations of Finance BBMAN23000B20Mandatory
Business Law 1: Law, Business Liabilities and the ConsumerBMAN2404210Mandatory
Principles of TaxationBMAN2411110Mandatory
Business StrategyBMAN2464110Mandatory
Professional Accounting PracticeBMAN2465210Mandatory
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Course content for year 3

Your final year is designed to allow you to choose from a range of more specialised topics. You will put theory into practice, develop transferable skills and gain an insight into the accounting profession. You will also study a core 30 credit project course unit involving an individual company project. You will continue your studies in business law and take core course units in taxation, accounting and finance. Your remaining course units will be chosen from a range of accounting, finance, economics or management subjects.

Course units for year 3

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Business Law 2: Law and the Modern Corporation in an International ContextBMAN2405210Mandatory
Contemporary Issues in Financial Reporting and RegulationBMAN3003020Mandatory
Accountability and AuditingBMAN3013110Mandatory
Corporate Financial Communication and ValuationBMAN3161040Mandatory
International FinanceBMAN3006020Optional
Share Prices and Accounting InformationBMAN3007110Optional
Financial DerivativesBMAN3009110Optional
Corporate Governance in ContextBMAN3021110Optional
Financial EngineeringBMAN3024210Optional
Corporate Contracting and Managerial BehaviourBMAN3070210Optional
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Scholarships and bursaries

The Manchester Bursary is available to UK students registered on an undergraduate degree course at Alliance MBS who have had a full financial assessment carried out by Student Finance England. 

In addition, Alliance MBS will award a range of Social Responsibility Scholarships to UK/EU and international students. These awards are worth £2,000 per year across three years of study. You must achieve AAA at A-level (or equivalent) and be able to demonstrate a significant contribution and commitment to social responsibility. The School will also award a number of International Stellar Scholarships to international students achieving AAA at A-level (or equivalent). Additional eligibility criteria apply – please see our scholarship pages for full details.

What our students say

‘I chose this course because it was different to anything on offer elsewhere. I was really excited by the opportunity to spend a year out between my second and final year in an internship with a high-calibre accountancy firm – I will be joining KPMG’s audit department in Canary Wharf. Interns in big four accountancy firms don’t just make the tea; I expect to be given the same jobs as a first year graduate recruit.’

– Andrew Simner

‘As an aspiring accountant this course seemed perfectly geared towards my career. My course allows me to receive maximum exemptions from professional accounting exams, enabling me to accelerate my career.’

– Bansari Kamdar


John Rylands University Library is renowned as one of the most extensive libraries in the world. This is complemented by our specialist business and management Eddie Davies Library which provides a dedicated service to Alliance Manchester Business School undergraduates. There is increasing provision of information via various web-based services and much of your reading material will be available through e-journals. These and other standard computing services, such as access to the internet and word processing, are available through computer clusters across campus in departmental buildings, libraries and halls of residence. Many buildings in and around the campus are also equipped with free wifi access.

Personal development plans

PDPs are aimed at helping you develop awareness of generic transferable and subject-specific skills, improve independent learning and provide a record of your academic learning and achievement.

Academic advisors

All new Alliance Manchester Business School students are allocated an academic advisor who you will meet in regular sessions as part of a first-year course unit. Where possible, you will keep the same academic advisor throughout your time here. Your advisor will support you throughout your studies on matters of an academic nature, from providing feedback on a practice essay in preparation for your `formal’ assessment at the end of each semester to discussing your PDP or writing you a reference. We also have a dedicated undergraduate assessment and student support centre within the School, who will be your first point of contact for any ill health or other personal problems which are affecting your work.

Student mentoring

We operate a peer mentoring scheme which aims to provide you with a second or final year ‘mentor’ to provide practical assistance with orientation and induction as well as advice and information on any aspect of student life.